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Title: Architectural models and the professional practice of the architect, 1834-1916
Author: Wells, Matthew James
ISNI:       0000 0004 7967 6053
Awarding Body: Royal College of Art
Current Institution: Royal College of Art
Date of Award: 2019
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Architectural models and the professional practice of the architect, 1834-1916 explores how architects thought about, made, commissioned, and used models during the nineteenth century. Particular focus has been given to the relationship between the production and use of architectural models and the development of the professional identity of 'The Architect' in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Britain. The attitude of architects towards models in the nineteenth century has been neglected in the study of architectural and design history. Instead historians have focused on other forms of architectural production. Any analysis as there has been of model collections, including that of the V&A, has concentrated on the history of acquisitions and the individuals involved. The circumstances of model production, the work of the model-maker, and the use of models by architects in education, design, and construction have largely been ignored. In addition, by drawing on a variety of sociological theories and studies, the thesis explores architectural practice as a socially constructed concept and examines the role that architectural models played in the development of professional identity during the period. Alongside comparative material from a variety of international, national, and local institutions, the collection of models held by the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) and Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has been the core focus of research for the thesis. The temporal boundaries of the project are established by the history of models within these two institutions: 1834 marks the founding of the RIBA, whilst 1916 is the year in which the itinerant collections of the Architectural Museum were reabsorbed into the V&A before being dispersed and deaccessioned. Across six chapters the thesis explores how architects used and thought about models at each stage of their professional lives from education to design, from public authority to private commissions, from temporary exhibitions to permanent displays. A wide variety of material from key public and private collections - combined with evidence from print culture within and without historic architectural communities - offers a nuanced understanding of the role and use of the model in the nineteenth and early-twentieth century. Through this material and the application of the conceptual frameworks used by both architectural and design historians, the thesis provides a new understanding of the nineteenth century by establishing the conception, production, and use of models as a key aspect of architecture and society in the period.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: AHRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: K100 Architecture